Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Le Morte Arthur (lines 728-759)

And then one day the King set forth
      To hunt with all his knights;
They rode to the forest for the chase,
     The sport and its delights.
But Lancelot planned to see the Queen
     And so lay long in bed,
They went to meet her in her room,
     And gracious greeting said.

 First he kissed her courteously,
     That lady full of grace,
And then her maids whose joy ran down
     In tears on every face.
‘Ah, Lancelot,’  said the Queen, ‘that ever
     I set my eyes on you!
Alas that it is gone for ever,
     The love that we once knew!

‘Alas, Sir Lancelot du Lake,    
     Who have my heart in hold,
That you have taken the Earl’s daughter,
     Of Ascolot as I’m told!
Now for her sake you cease to be
     A warrior daring-bold,
And I must wake and weep in woe
     Till clay shall clasp me cold.


‘But Lancelot, I beg you now,
     Since it must needs be so,
Never to tell a single soul
     Of the love we used to know,
And never to let your love for her
     Enfeeble your knightly fame,
For though my fate is woe, I wish
     To hear you win acclaim.

Trans. Brian Stone, King Arthur's Death and Le Morte D'Arthur.  London, Penguin, 1988.


1. Alex Katz,  Blue Umbrella, 1979-80.

2. Alex Katz, Self-Portrait at Cheat Lake, 1969.

3. Alex Katz,  Pas de Deux,Vicki Hudspeth and Wally Turbeville, 1994.

4. Alex Katz, Pas de Deux, Red Grooms and Lizzy Ross, 1994.

5.  Alex Katz, Black Scarf, 1996.


  1. I very much like the Alex Katz art on this post as well as yesterday's. Jane did a lovely job on the colors.

  2. Thanks. I would be nothing without her. She's got a great eye. I will pass along your compliment. I love these images also. Various poets have collaborated with Katz in the past, but I'd like to think that this is the first time he's been used with Patrick Hamilton and the medieval Arthur legend stanzaic poet. COLD today. But power finally back at the Tuxedo Park house. Curtis